W/E 24th April


A frustrating first full week with a busted thumb! The hand did swell up but I was back at work on Tuesday and by Friday was able to tie up my shoe laces. Friday also saw the arrival of the Welsh Rally regs but alas not this year if I am to have any chance of the LCF rally on the 10th June.

With Mrs A’s help I’ve started the road back with the Atlas. The broken plastic rack is off as are the sidepanels and tank. Aside from the broken indicators and screen that I knew about the new thing to emerge is that one of the bolts holding the radiator trim in place is spining in its tank helicoil. I’ve put on releasing fluid and will try some ‘freezing’ fluid during the week to see if I can get it turning. If not then I’ll just cut off the head, glue the helicoil and hopefully be able to pull it out with mole-grips. There’s no hurry so this will be a last resort.

The picture introducing the post is from the Bristol Auto-Italia event. This is at the end of the day so it seems quiet. The event wasn’t so big this year, only a handful of Laverda’s on the ILOC stand and all other marque’s with the exception of Ducati were poorly represented. Most of the interesting stuff is now presumably consigned to the garage – well if you ride ’em you run the risk of falling off hey!

Of the Italian bikes this was what caught my eye – couple of tiddlers, the casting quality and detail on the Parilia was really notable. The Stark, Aprilia is a rare beast – would’ve liked to see how it looked with the panniers installed…no doubt they clashed with the design principle but nice to see one not just being kept in a museum. Guzzi Quota’s are rare beasts and of course have the same front brake as the Atlas and the modern Morini with its two headlamp arrangement got me thinking about a modification for the Atlas…






Aside from the Italian stuff these two caught my eye:


Thruxton exhausts complete the 60’s racer look – bought back memories 🙂 The forks are just so thin!


What a great combination of old and new – frame colour a bit ‘bling’ but respect…looks like a 200 mm Yamaha headlamp up front.

Nick 🙂


W/E17th April 2016


Man down – more of that later…


So fitted the new starter motor gear from the zane (on the left) to try and get the starting fixed. I was surprised at how easy this turned out to be – the flats on the gear proved just right for a 17 mm spanner to hold the plot wile a 13 mm spanner took off the retaining nut. A couple of tyre levers saw the old gear slide off. The complete Zane gear train has improved starting but I suspect the bearing itself is a bit worn out as the sprag sometimes spins without engaging.


The new sprag was accompanied with the rear tyre (finally) and new chain and rear sprocket. The bespoke front was fine and didn’t need changing.


So all buffed up and ready to go…


So I’m heading into a roundabout, car comes from the right, I brake and I’m down. It all happens that fast and the Atlas accelerates away as it slides along on its left side. I’m winded and the driver is out asking if I’m okay? Gathering my thoughts we get the bike up and push it to the side of the road. A PCSO is on his way to work and as I’ve grazed my crash helmet insists an ambulance is called. Mrs A is on her way…

Everything is checked out in the ambulance – the Police check over the bike (thankfully the back tyre was replaced) and I get the all clear from the breathalyser.  The copper suspects I was going too fast and locked up the front on the wet road but as there’s no other vehicle involved and me and the car driver just say the bike just went down they leave me to it…

After all the excitement of a crash the reality starts to creep in. We arrange for the bike to be collected and then begin the round of x-rays on a throbbing thumb. Thumb turns out to be broken and as luck would have it the ‘hand clinic’ operates over the weekend.

Getting to hospital on the Saturday I slide down the order as emergency cases leapfrog me – after 10 hours   (thankfully I took a book [Robbie Marshall on his Triumph https://youtu.be/DJYjVR597EQ  and   mp3 player)  I’m on my way home with either a wired or plated thumb – no one was available to tell me which.

Mrs A put a positive spin on it saying that I could use the downtime to sort the bikes without having to make ’em ready for the next day (the registration for Atlas #3 arrived on the day of the crash by coincidence). The Atlas doesn’t look too bad, just the left side shaved away – I think I have most I need in the shed…


So just a moments misjudgement can lead to quite a punishment – broken bike, no Welsh rally and nip and tuck for the French. I also have six months of single handedness and all the hassle that brings. But I’m safe and maybe a bit of space to break out of the ‘chasing my arse’ routines that got me to this place. I’m a lucky man in so many ways.

Nick 🙂


W/E 3rd April 2016

Well a frustrating week with changing the rear tyre. I decided to do it myself as I thought it would be good experience for if I had to do it for real – say out in the wilds in Scotland. Well my conclusion is maybe take a tube but wait for the breakdown guys to show up – I’m two tubes down and no further forward…

First off getting the tube out and one side of the tyre off was simple enough but to get the whole tyre off – nightmare had to resort to cutting the damned thing! New tyre on and the fun begins with first one tube pinched followed quickly by a second.

I’m fixing a Pirelli Scorpion Trail which is a radial tyre and maybe because of the stiff sidewalls really hard work. The tyre sits hard onto the rim so even just getting the valve through the rim really needed gloves to prevent your cuticles getting pinched (ouch!)…

I was careful so it must be down to technique. I part inflated the tube to try and keep it out of the way. Used rim guards and flat 12″ levers but both times caught the tube. Now this is annoying but what if I really was out in the middle of nowhere! And another thing a bike without a bloody centre stand what is that about…

To add to my frustration I got the V55/5 forms for Atlas #3 registration and sent it all off…only to remember I needed to attach my insurance certificate. It got sent the next post but now I have two sets of paperwork circulating in the DVLA – they’re sure not to hook up…

Atlas #2 is running well but the sprag clutch is on its last legs. I should’ve put more effort in to installing the Zane sprag on that but decided instead to go for the tyre…I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it holds to next weekend and I’m going to spend the light evenings sorting out the tyre and putting on a new sprocket and chains. The non o ring does seem to go off quickly but maybe that’s the reality of a daily 100 + mile commute – routine maintenance seems to come round quickly.

The fun part of the week was riding with my daughter on her SR125. She passed her theory test so now needs to get in some miles in preparation for the practical. This weekend she upped the pace (if such a thing is possible on an SR125) and soon we were buzzing along at 55-60 mph. Catherine learns fast and I must say watching her lines through the corners was impressive – much better then me when I started out…many, many years ago.

Right off to find some patches and glue….

Nick 🙂